The lawn at Ridley was covered in tents for a weekend in September as festival-goers of all ages gathered to listen to bands and inspirational speakers.
The twenty-four hour festival was conceived by the then Tutor in Pioneer Learning and Context-based Training, Michael Volland, who said, ‘We wanted to subvert the stereotyped image of a Cambridge college and host a creative event that was fun and which would help us to encounter God and each other in new ways’.
Speakers included Dr Rachel Jordan, the Church of England’s national adviser on evangelism, and Joshua Brocklesby, a recent member of the Community of St Anselm, who joined the Ridley community as an ordinand this year. Tents, sleeping bags and outdoor cooking were complimented by The Rural Coffee Project who supplied flat whites and lattes from their converted Land Rover.
Musicians included a jazz trio, a community gospel choir, and ‘Deacons Blues’, a band made up of college staff and students. The Associate Principal of Ridley Hall, Mike Thompson, who leads Deacons Blues said, ‘The festival was an inspiring start to the new academic year and a fantastic way for Ridley to demonstrate its creativity. There are significant gifts among staff and students and we were pleased to see them used to generate such an exciting event’.
Becky Dyball is a final-year ordinand at Ridley and played a key role in planning and hosting the festival. She said, ‘Ridley24 gave me the opportunity to exercise my gifts and to work with students and staff to create something really special’. Volland said, ‘The event exceeded our expectations and was a life-giving source of energy for everyone involved. We are looking forward to running Ridley24 again in September 2017 and seeing even more people enjoying what we have to offer.’